TITLE: One Bad Mistake
The blue and red lights splashed over me, circling the parking lot like a lighthouse beacon. I’d hoped staring at them would soothe me. Instead, my thoughts swirled in rhythm to their motion.
One bad mistake was all it took to destroy plans, dreams, hopes - a lesson I’d learned years ago, the hard way.
Unfortunately, Alicia had learned it now too.
I rubbed my arms briskly to erase the goose bumps prickling my skin. Glancing down, I stopped. The circling lights illuminated the rusty color staining my fingers – Alicia’s blood.
Her lesson had been harder than mine.
Tucking my clenched hands against my body, I closed my eyes, trying to escape the bloody reminder; instead, I gave my mind the opening it was waiting for.
Images in shocking Technicolor of Alicia sprawled out on the shiny tile flooded my mind like a sick slideshow. Blood pooled around her face, blending with her auburn hair before congealing. Her satin blouse partially untucked from her uncharacteristically wrinkled skirt. Her legs bent in motion as if riding a bike. One strappy dress sandal clutched in her right hand, heel facing outward, glistening like a disco ball in the harsh overhead light. Manicured nails now chipped and ragged. Her wide eyes looking upward, fixed on me.
If the memory were in black and white maybe it would be more tolerable - maybe. Trying to focus on the fresh-faced cop’s questions I gulped in the humid night air, but Alicia was all I could see.